By Mario Conde

The Calexico School Board decided this past Monday to put Superintendent Luna on an administrative leave.

The board also approved Monday that Assistant Gina Sanchez will take over as acting superintendent. “The board is committed to balancing the budget, resolving facility issues and improving the education of the district’s more than 9,500 students,” board President Gloria Romo said in a statement Tuesday.

Luna came on board as CUSD Superintendent two years ago after previously serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Temple City Unified School District. Luna announced her resignation three weeks ago stating that her last day with the district was going to be July 31st.

Luna’s administration was loaded with big challenges since she had to deal with the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and the closing of the school for the entire month of April. Luna was later questioned by County Superintendent Ann Mallory as to why the schools in Calexico were closed for such a long period of time. The board said that they will support Sanchez for the benefit students in her interim role as Calexico’s superintendent.

In other news, the Board finally appointed Antonio Valenzuela as the fifth member of the board and will serve the two years left by Ruben De La Rosa.  The board voted 3-1 to appoint him having Trustee Norma Aguilar making the opposing vote. Valenzuela received the fourth place in the last election. Valenzuela has been a community member for the last 18 years and has served as a volunteer for Calexico youth sports programs and was involved in the Calexico Little League for ten years. Valenzuela was also involved in the De Anza Junior High Band program and two years president of the Parent Booster Club.

“I’m here to restore the respect for the community and we need change in the way we are working, that includes administration and board members. I want transparency in budgets, agendas, and no hidden funds. I want the best interest for our students and I’m here as an individual and that is my main goal to tell people that I’m an individual candidate not affiliated to any groups or individuals either.” Valenzuela said last fall during his campaign for Calexico School Board.

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